A Syosset district schoolteacher has been arrested, because he had an "immoral, unhealthy and inappropriate" journal correspondence with a 13-year-old boy he took under his wing, Nassau County police said Thursday.
Police charged the H.B. Thompson Middle School English teacher, Ian Edrich, with child endangerment in connection with "comments from the teacher to the student."
There is no indication that Edrich and the boy, whom he taught in a seventh-grade English class last year, engaged in any physical relationship, police said.
The journal entries came to authorities' attention after the boy's mother found the book with handwritten entries by her son and Edrich, 35, made between Dec. 2 and Dec. 20, said police spokesman Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone.
Repalone said Edrich and the boy, whose name has not been made public, would eat lunch together everyday.
Public records did not list a working telephone number for Edrich, who was arrested Thursday and in police custody, set to be arraigned later in the day at First District Court in Hempstead.
The Syosset Central School District, where police said Edrich has taught for at least the last seven years, wrote in a prepared statement that the school "immediately contacted law enforcement officials when this matter was brought to our attention." The district said the teacher has been suspended, blocked from accessing his district e-mail account and banned from school premises.
Edrich, who is called "Big E" on his official district Web site, lists "Journaling" as a homework assignment.
"That is YOUR personal book and you should feel free to use it anytime and in any way you wish," Edrich said. "The more you write in it, the more you will learn about yourselves."